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Financial disruption as a cost of sovereign default

By André Sander Diniz


This dissertation analyses quantitatively the costs of sovereign default for the economy, in a model where banks with long positions in government debt play a central role in the financial intermediation for private sector's investments and face financial frictions that limit their leverage ability. Calibration tries to resemble some features of the Eurozone, where discussions about bailout schemes and default risk have been central issues. Results show that the model captures one important cost of default pointed out by empirical and theoretical literature on debt crises, namely the fall in investment that follows haircut episodes, what can be explained by a worsening in banks' balance sheet conditions that limits credit for the private sector and raises their funding costs. The cost in terms of output decrease is though not significant enough to justify the existence of debt markets and the government incentives for debt repayment. Assuming that the government is able to alleviate its constrained budget by imposing a restructuring on debt repayment profile that allows it to cut taxes, our model generates an important difference for output path comparing lump-sum taxes and distortionary. For our calibration, quantitative results show that in terms of output and utility, it is possible that the effect on the labour supply response generated by tax cuts dominates investment drop caused by credit crunch on financial markets. We however abstract from default costs associated to the breaking of existing contracts, external sanctions and risk spillovers between countries, that might also be relevant in addition to financial disruption effects. Besides, there exist considerable trade-offs for short and long run path of economic variables related to government and banks' behaviour

Topics: Sovereign default, Sovereign debt, Financial disruption, Deleveraging, Mercado financeiro, Dívida externa, Investimentos
Year: 2014
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